Special Educational Needs
What are Special Educational Needs (SEN)? This home page provides an outline of support available to children with Special Educational Needs (SEN)
A child may have special educational needs (SEN) if they have a learning difficulty or disability and require extra help at school. About 20% of children nationally will have special educational needs at some stage in their school life. Some children may only need extra help for a short time to catch up, while others may have long term difficulties.
The great majority of children with SEN will be able to have their needs met in a mainstream school, with extra help provided by the school. Schools can provide extra help for children with SEN at "School Action" and "School Action Plus". These terms are explained in more detail on the West Berkshire Parent Partnership website: www.westberkspps.org.uk.
Schools can call on a range of support services to help them support children with SEN. These include:
- The Educational Psychology Service
- Pre School Teacher Counsellor Service
- Special Needs Support Team
- ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) Service
- Language and Literacy Centres
- Sensory Consortium Services
- Behaviour Support Team
- Specialist Inclusion Support Service (SISS)
All mainstream schools have funding in their budgets to support children with SEN. This money must be spent on providing extra support for children with SEN, either individually or in groups. Schools all have a member of staff called a Special Needs Coordinator (SENCO) who makes sure that children's needs are met and oversees any special arrangements which need to be made for them. The SENCO will also keep in touch with parents and with any professionals who are involved with the child.
A small number of children (about 2% of the school population) will have special educational needs which are so severe and long term that they may need a Statement of SEN to be made by the Local Authority. This means that the Local Authority will provide extra support over and above the help provided by the school. The Statementing process is described in more detail in "What are Special Educational Needs?"
The responsibilities of schools and of the Local Authority to provide for children with Special Educational Needs are explained in a document called 'Funding and Provision for Pupils with Special Educational Needs in Mainstream Schools' which can be downloaded from this site.
West Berkshire Council has a policy of inclusion for children with SEN. The Council's SEN Inclusion Policy can be downloaded from this site.